Team’s brutal dog-eat-dog reality for title contender

Jordan Cox says he’s not expecting his Garry Rogers Motorsport teammates to help him win the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series title.

However, if it comes down to the death, the team could intervene to ensure it wins the crown at the Bathurst International.

The internet sensation heads into the SpeedSeries season-finale trailing leader Tony D’Alberto by 46 points.

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The Wall Racing driver was penalized in between rounds after an incident with HMO Customer Racing’s Bailey Sweeny resulted in a 10-second penalty at Sandown.

Cox’s teammate Dylan O’Keeffe is also mathematically in with a shot at the title, albeit seventh in the standings and 152 points in arrears of D’Alberto.

Neither Ben Bargwanna, Aaron Cameron, nor James Moffat are in mathematical contention for the series.

Asked on Stan Sport’s pitlane show whether he expected his teammates to help his cause, Cox replied, “Mate, none.

“We’re all in it for ourselves here. A couple of guys are in with mathematical chances I think, but I’m obviously the best chance.

“The other drivers there, Dylan, Aaron, and Ben – they’ve got their own careers to look after as well, so I’m not fully expecting them to get out of the way.

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“But if it’s race three and there’s one spot that will make the difference in the championship on the last lap, I’m sure the team will step in and something might come of that.

“Coming into the weekend? Nah, we’re all doing our own thing.”

As far as the form guide goes, there’s reason for Cox to smile.

While his last cameo at Mount Panorama at the Bathurst 6 Hour was a lacklustre affair, the pace of the Peugeot 308 fleet was undeniable.

Cox made his way up to third only for his car to cry no more. After a retirement to start, he drove from the rear of the field to finish 11th and followed that up with 10th in the finale.

His teammate Cameron took two wins, O’Keeffe twice stood on the podium, and Bargwanna claimed an on-podium finish too.

If Cox can avoid mechanical gremlins, it bodes well for the finale – especially considering the Honda Civic isn’t the best match for Mount Panorama.

“I thought Tony would be sweating buckets,” Cox laughed.

“We’re looking good going to Bathurst. There’s been a minute BOP [Balance of Performance] adjustment in favor of the Pug which is really good.

“It’s funny, the Peugeot has got the weakest straight line speed of all the cars in the paddock and yet we’re one of the fastest at Bathurst.

“It makes it hard to race the Peugeot, but one-lap speed is definitely our thing.

“For us, it’ll put a mega importance on qualifying or being up there in race one and then dealing with whatever comes at us in the chaotic, reverse grid race two.”

Now in his second season of TCR competition, Cox said he is keen to make the most of his chance to take the title.

“The whole season is about the championship,” said Cox.

“The goal is to win. It would be great to win every race along the way, but at the same time I’m super conscious you’ve got to be consistent.

“I sort of learned that the hard way the last couple of years. But that’s okay, we’re in a good position.

“It’s going to be one of those funny ones. There’s just so many things that can pop up.

“The weather is chaotic at the minute. It’s forecast for the next couple of weeks to be the same. So every chance it could be wet up there.”

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